Exempt buses from new 20mph limit, says Welsh report

A report from UK economy think-tank Centre for Cities has suggested buses should be exempt from Wales’ recently introduced 20mph zone.

The ‘Fare outcomes: understanding transport in Wales’ cities’ report also suggests better understanding what role bus franchising can play in different parts of Wales.

The report from the Centre for Cities sets out the differing roles of different parts of Wales will have in approaching the Welsh government’s goal to achieve 45% of all journeys done by public transport and active travel by 2040. The government believes this goal is likely to be important for the economy, for the environment and for access to amenities for non-car-owners.

The report says Cardiff is the city with the greatest potential to significantly drive up public transport ridership.

As well as focusing on the expansion of the public transport network, the report suggests the Welsh government and local authorities should look to maximise the performance of the existing system too. To do this, it says local authorities should exempt bus lanes from the new 20mph speed limit where this would be safe and appropriate.

The report says franchising the bus network allows both more universal coverage of public transport by providing routes that otherwise are not provided by private operators and better integration with other modes of public transport. However, it notes this will require subsidy. It suggests raising this subsidy through a handful of measures: congestion charging, workplace parking levies, tax devolution, tax precepts and supplements and cross subsidisation from other parts of the network.

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